Pulling my hair out over iCal, iPad, and Exchange - Please help!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by LoneRider, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. LoneRider macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Lake Stevens WA
    I've tried googling and searching the forums, but I am not making any progress. So I am asking for help.

    Here is my situation - A County employee who uses Exchange 2007 at work for email/calendar, etc. I have an HDC HD2 that was easily set up to go into Exchange and pull my calendar info. I also have an iPad that was easily set up to go in and pull my Exchange calendar info using the same fields (owa server, account, password).

    If I add an appointment on my HD2 or iPad, it is pushed out to my work account and shows at work. If I add an appointment at work, it is pushed to my cell and my iPad. All good to this point.

    I cannot seem to get iCal on my new iMac to accept the Exchange settings and get my calendar info. In trying to set up, it seems to ask for different info than the iPad does for setting up an Exchange account. Seems to go through the steps, but then tells me server is not responding, and doesn't connect.

    I figured, "Oh well, I'll just sync iPad calendar with iTunes" expecting that it would take ALL of my iPad calendar stuff (including Exchange items) and bring it into iCal. Nope, doesn't work. Anything I have on my iCal shows on the iPad, and anything I add to the iPad calendar "From my Mac" syncs to iTunes and shows in iCal, but still the Exchange stuff does not show (yes, I have checked "Sync all calendars" in iTunes).

    The County doesn't "support" Apple products and therefore cannot offer any assistance. I seem to recall a coworker who ended up unable to get their Touch to pull Exchange calendar info as well. I tried to set it up for her since it worked on my iPad, but realized that the Touch had different settings/fields than the iPad when trying to set up an Exchange account so it was a no go and I gave up. Installing any software on the County work computer is not an option as it is locked down.

    Is there some magic trick to making iCal work with Exchange? Why would setup be different between Apple products? If it was so simple and easy with the iPad, why won't it work with iCal?

    I am an Apple neophyte and am picking things up pretty quickly after 25 years of being PC, but this has me totally stumped. All I need is the calendar stuff, not the email or contacts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. sportytoes macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2010
    I don't know your specific setup at work so this is just conjecture:

    1. Exchange 2007 can be setup to use microsoft activesync so that mobile devices can access the OWA servers without requiring a secure VPN connection to do so. This would not apply to a laptop or desktop PC. So it is possible then that an offsite laptop or desktop WOULD have to have have a VPN connection in order to access the exchange server. This scenario would then mean that your iOS devices could get email, but your other computers could not (without connecting via VPN first).

    2. The iPod touch: I have often found that mobile devices just don't sometimes want to sync up the first time if they are not on the same internal corporate network as the exchange server. Try setting up the ipod touch which connected to your internal wifi network at work when you initially try setting up the connection.

    3. iPod touch: Last resort, backup the ipod first then reset the ipod in itunes. Setup the email again on the wiped ipod. If it still doesn't work, restore the ipod again and restore your last backup. Just remember, iTunes only saves 1 backup for each device. If you wipe the ipod and then do another sync/backup after that, then your "good" backup is gone! This is a last resort procedure so be cautious.

    Just my $.02
  3. MasterTick macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2009
    Don't they have an IT department for this sort of thing?

    I'm sorry I don't own an iPad but the iPhone Exchange settings are very similar to the iCal settings, leading me to believe it's similar on iPad. All I can suggest is make sure you're entering the same settings as your HD2
  4. ofiaich macrumors member


    May 16, 2008

    I have a similar problem, and, though not perfect, used this as a solution.

    I synced my university exchange calendar etc with my gmail account, and then synched my gmail account with iCal.

    Same worked for my address book.

    I have a MacBook Pro 13" and had read somewhere that Entourage is required because the native Mac apps will not sync with the exchange server.

    Of course, everything that we read is not necessarily true :D

  5. LoneRider thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Lake Stevens WA
    Well the new iPod Touches work, they set up the same way as the iPad.

    Still no joy on the iMac.

    Google syncing isn't an optin because we can't install ANYTHING on the work computers and you have to install a program to do the Google sync.

    IT is no help as the employer does not support Apple products.
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    OK. The thing that you need to understand is that Exchange is not a fixed target. Every installation is unique. Also, support for Exchange on the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad is substantially better than MacOS X. The handheld devices appear to support several versions of Exchange. MacOS X 10.6 supports only Exchange 2007. For example, my firm uses an older Exchange server. I can setup my Exchange account on my iPhone 4 and it works well. However, my MacBook Pro is limited to IMAP.

    If you think that this is an Apple problem, then think again. The Entourage 12.x versions of Microsoft Entourage 2008 supports the older version of Exchange. The Entourage 13 version of Entourage 2008 aka Entourage 2008 EWS supports Exchange 2007, but is incompatible with the older version of Exchange. Entourage 14 under its new name Outlook 2011 is compatible with only Exchange 2007 and newer versions of the server.

    The takeaway message is that you are probably SOL until your firm upgrades its Exchange server to Exchanger 2007 or newer. Until then, Apple can't help you and Microsoft won't.
  7. Eric-PTEK macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2009
    There are several ways to connect to Exchange.

    The iOS devices work great using the OWA connection.

    The mail clients usually prefer the actual server itself, not OWA.

    Then there is RPC but I think thats a 03 issue only.

    IF its Exchange 07 have you tried autodiscover? I thought iCal supports Autodiscover.

    You need to create an A record in the DNS which points to your MX record but call it:


    Then it'll just do it by itself.

    iCal, Entourage, etc will most likely want the settings you use with an Outlook client, can you check an Outlook client for the server name, I bet its different than on the iOS devices.
  8. LoneRider thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2010
    Lake Stevens WA
    My understanding is that it is an Exchange 2007 server. Yes, I am using the OWA address on the iPad and same with my HD2 and/or Android based phone and on the Android it does say that it is "Autosync" when I set it up.

    As to the server itself, we have a "master" server we use when setting up accounts on network computers, but the actual accounts are split across multiple servers. I am not an IT guy, but my understanding is that the master server has a table or something that redirects the account to the correct physical server it is on. I don't know if I can find that server address or if it would be available from outside the network. It may be an issue about "VPN".

    I have seen some tech stuff about VPN settings and such, but it hasn't applied to my position. Maybe that is the answer. At this point I am resolved to just running two calendars, personal on my new Android phone through Google, and work which I can get through activesync on my phone as well. At least with this phone I can split the two and not have my personal stuff on my work calendar, since setting an appt on the phone doesn't offer the option of making it private.

    Google will sync with the iMac, so I guess I will just have to refer to my phone if at home and need to check work schedule.

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